A public interest lawyer from Washington, D.C....

Stacy Braverman

Hi, Washington D.C., I'm Stacy Braverman. See if I can win Jeopardy! with a capital "W".

Season 26 1-time champion: $14,984 + $2,000.

As detailed in a 2012-06-29 article in The Washington Post, Stacy later married her Jeopardy! opponent Emily Cloyd after the two met each other while competing on the show.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: sbraverm
JBoard user name: sbraverm

Stacy Braverman - A Public Interest Lawyer
Washington, DC

April 1, 2010

I took the online test for the second time in January 2009. I'd taken in the previous winter, but my phone rang in the middle of it and I didn't do very well (I wouldn't have done very well anyway, but the phone ringing didn't help-those questions come by quickly!)

It was a pleasant surprise to be called for an in-person audition and I went at the end of May, 2009. I had signed up for Washington, DC because my parents live nearby so I knew I'd have a place to stay. Plus, I was moving to DC from Michigan so I figured I could squeeze in some apartment-hunting while I was there. The interview was fun, but I figured that I wasn't peppy enough (the producers were basically the most upbeat people I've ever met) and there was a woman there who'd done nine previous in-person auditions. So I took my awesome Jeopardy! pen home, threw myself into studying for the bar exam and not for Jeopardy!. Flowcharts of secured transactions and commercial paper replaced my lists of Oscar winners and British royalty on my bathroom mirror-my roommate was remarkably calm about this atypical method of studying while toothbrushing.

A few months later, now working as a lawyer in DC, I got a call from Glenn at Jeopardy! I listened to his message while walking to the train station and called him back from the platform. I wish I could blame that for how little of the conversation I retained later but really it was just my excitement. I called a lot of people-my friend Molly was particularly excited, especially about the fact that I might do a hometown howdy on her local station. And my grandparents were visiting that weekend, so I got to share the good news with them in person.

I couldn't believe that I only had a month to prepare. Every time I studied one topic, I'd think of three more things about which I knew nothing. I watched Jeopardy! every night and was relieved when crazy topics like Upholstery, or Comic Book Villains, came up because I knew they weren't likely to be repeated. I made state capital flashcards, studied Passover and Easter since they were around the time my show would air, borrowed AP history study guides and a book about opera from the library, and spent a LOT of time randomly clicking around Wikipedia (types of rocks? Famous heart surgeons? FBI directors? Zodiac signs? Why not?). I also practiced wagering and read some articles about that. I couldn't decide if it would be better to have topics I didn't know (football, physics, art history) or ones I did. If I got Long Island History, Supreme Court Cases, Jewish Food, and Etymology and didn't do well, I would never live it down. My nightmare scenario was a Final Jeopardy! on public benefits programs, since that's the focus of my job. I held out a little bit of hope for a Slumdog Millionaire scenario (minus the beatings, of course).

Of course, the real taping day was somewhere in between. There were some questions I was amazed I knew (the USS Enterprise, Roy Rogers), some I kicked myself for (Colorado School of Mines...really? And "the first French Revolution?"), and some things I never would have expected, like Alex Trebek asking me about my weight on national television. I was stunned to have a runaway victory in the first game. There was a short gap in taping because of a technical glitch during the Ecuador category, and it was at that point I realized it could be a runaway. My hands started shaking, my heart started pounding-but I was also relieved, because I don't know much at all about Naval History. It was great just to wager my lucky number, $16, and call it a day.

In the second game, I was humbled by the buzzer skills of Matt and Pat. I remember doing some complicated math to decide what to wager-and then on the ride back to the airport, trying to explain to my friends why I'd made that bet and realizing that it made no sense. Luckily, the outcome would have been the same no matter what I wagered, so I had no regrets.

I enjoyed everything about the day, from having my makeup done to eating in the commissary to hanging out with the other contestants. I liked Manny and Emily a lot-Manny and I talked about El Paso, and Emily and I both attended the University of Michigan and currently live in the DC area. She and I had actually auditioned together, and we're planning a joint party to watch the game. It was a wonderful adventure and the Jeopardy! staff were so nice. I don't know how they're that friendly every day. But my favorite part of the day was going out to dinner with my friend Amie from law school and her boyfriend Rob. They live in Culver City, so it was easy for them to drop by the studio. They were amazingly patient about sitting through six hours of taping and managed to hold back from shouting out the answers (apparently they tried using telepathy on me at one point during a question on silent film stars, but I didn't get the message). It was nice to go over the day--and pick up the check for everyone.

It's going to be really hard not to discuss the outcome of the game with friends, co-workers, and relatives. But I don't know how I'd choose just a few people to tell, and I'd feel bad burdening folks with a secret. I think it's going to be worth it, though, when I get together with everyone to watch the game on March 30th.

I don't know what I'll do with the money, other than buy a headboard for my bed, which I've been wanting for a while. I promised myself that I would donate 10% of my winnings after tax to charity, and I promised my three younger siblings (who will all be in college or grad school next year) that I would pay for their fall semester books if I won. But my sister is signed up to take the online test in a couple weeks, so perhaps she won't need my help for much longer.

Stacy appeared in the following 2 archived games:
#5888, aired 2010-03-31 Stacy Braverman vs. Pat Garahan vs. Matt Drury
#5887, aired 2010-03-30 Manny Maldonado III vs. Stacy Braverman vs. Emily Cloyd

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